Message 2001-06-0108: Re: species names

Sat, 19 May 2001 17:05:51 -0600 (CST)

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Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 17:05:51 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jonathan R. Wagner" <znc14@TTACS.TTU.EDU>
To: "T. Mike Keesey" <>
Subject: Re: species names

At 06:12 PM 5/18/01 -0400, T. Mike Keesey wrote:
>I tend to dislike notations that can't be spoken, but I will attempt to
>come up with another solution for this case, anyway...
        It isn't meant to be spoken. It is just supposed to indicate that
the name hasn't been converted, but is retained for convenience because
everybody reading your paper is probably used to seeing it. Same should
apply for a talk. I dunno... I wasn't trying to create a new class of
nomenclatural unit.

>Ugh. Maybe Wagner's right and it isn't worth it....
        Well, you can just wait to convert genera until it *is* more
straightforward, then define the genus. Mostly, I thought #Archaeopteryx
lithographica would just allow better access to the literature than Aves
lithographica. My understanding is that genera like Homo won't be so much of
a problem (compared, at least, to the uncertainty of dinosaur taxonomy).

>Why not just make _Prosaurolophus_ a stem-based clade with _Saurolophus
>osborni_ as an external specifier?
        Because, for one thing, this becomes positively awful if (P.)
maximus is ancestral to (S.) osborni... I prefer to define Saurolophus to
exclude clearly(?) different species like regalis, lambei, navajovius,
canadiensis, etc.

[elsewhere, he wrote:]

>Or would it be? Some people consider there to be only one species (_T.
>horridus_) while other state that there is another species (_T. prorsus_).
>So should it be changed to _triceratops_ or should _Triceratops_ be a
>clade with _prorsus_ and _horridus_ as member species?
        Becomes problematic under some interpretations, if both of these
turn out to be the same species (as three out of four ceratopsian experts

>Quite often, whether a genus is monospecific or not is a matter of
>opinion. It seems preferable to me to just have genera be defined as
>clades. In this case, a stem-based clade with outgroups _Diceratops
>hatcheri_ and _Torosaurus latus_ as external specifiers would work. Then
>whether you think there is one species or two, _Triceratops horridus_ (or
>/Triceratops/horridus?) will always be valid.
        Unless, of course, those same 3 out of 4 ceratopsian experts are
correct, and "Diceratops hatcheri" is a specimen of Triceratops horridus, in
which case the definition you give is pretty akward and potentially meaningless.

        Genera are difficult for groups with a low genus/species ratio
(fossil groups, whales, and some beetles, apparently). We should be
appropriately careful, and try to accomodate a wide range of
lumping/splitting variation in trying to convert them. I am (very slowly)
writing a paper which discusses this.


     Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
  "Why do I sense we've picked up another pathetic lifeform?" - Obi-Wan Kenobi


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